Projecte Rosoum, estrategias para un cómic árabe independiente (Rosum project, strategies for an independent Arab comic) addresses the growing phenomenon of Arabic publications for adults that reflect on the political, social and day-to-day reality of the Arab world using a cartoon style. In Barcelona, the project brings together four renowned Arab cartoonists (from Beirut, Cairo, Tunis and Casablanca) so that they can jointly produce cartoons, relate to other agents in the local context and explore strategies for the creation of an artistic network of groups producing comics in Arabic languages.
27th November at 7.00pm, MACBA, auditorium:
Roundtable with Salah Malouli, Mery Cuesta and the invited artists: Mohamed Shenawy, Cairo, Mehdi Annassi, Casablanca, Lena Merhej, Beirut and Noha Habaieb, Túnez. Moderator: Francesc Ruiz, Barcelona
28th November at 6.00pm, at the bookshop Fatbottom:
Inauguration of the exhibition about independent Arab comic Rosoum Project. Strategies for an independent Arab comic Exhibition from 29th November 2015 to 6th January 2016
El visitant ideal d’una col•lecció sentimental (The perfect visitor to a sentimental collection) is a research project about the collection and the figure of Frederic Marès. In the Museu Frederic Marès, we can find 50,000 objects forming part of a series of ensembles, such as measuring apparatus, Iberian ex-votos, hair, and shell vases. These and many others make up the sentimental collection, which is the result of the apparent arbitrariness of the subject who decides what the collection should comprise and how it should be displayed. The complexity of this collection poses a confrontation of different methodological stances in order to get an answer to the following question: What might the ideal visitor of a sentimental collection’s attitude be?
- From 23rd October 2015 to 21st February 2016:
Audio-guides available at the Museu Frederic Marès. These audio-guides have been especially created to offer a new interpretation of the Museu Marès and of the contemporary works of art from the "la Caixa" Collection that is being exhibited in some of the rooms of the Museum
- Thursday 5th and 19th November and 3rd December at 5.00pm:
Guided visits to the Museu Frederic Marès, given by Enric Farrés Duran and Joana Llauradó Farrés Limited places, bookings by mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 932562044
- Saturday 12th December from 10.00am to 7.00pm :
Congress and presentation of the publication "The ideal visitor of a sentimental collection", BCN Producció'15 Venue: Museu Frederic Marès Limited places, bookings by mail to email@example.com or by telephone at 932562044
This exhibition is a fascinating exploration of the themes of secrets, identity and social roles that delves into the cultural output produced by teenagers in the privacy of their bedrooms when they close the door to their parents and the world. It is the result of the research conducted by the filmmaker and visual artist Xiana Gómez-Díaz, together with Carla Calleja, in 2013 into private literature and ‘bedroom cultures’, the umbrella term for everything that teenagers produce in privacy. The concept of bedroom culture was introduced by the feminist sociologist Angela McRobbie in the late 1970s in response to the need to document the practices of female teenagers at home given that male teenagers’ habits were more commonly discussed and studied.
Secret diaries, folders stuffed with stickers and photos, drawn self-portraits, envelopes bearing messages in code, rooms decorated as motley universes, etc., all private output that the exhibition focuses on from the viewpoints of disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, art, psychology, semiotics, narratology and even graphology. As a result, these private teenage practices reveal the symbolic systems of values and authority (family, school, community, the media, etc.) of those who engage in them and also provide insights into the way factors of cultural conditioning operate from adolescence, pointing us towards an appraisal of society as a whole.
Cultura de dormitorio: Narraciones de adolescencia femenina (Bedroom Culture: Teenage Girls’ Narrations) features photographs, videos and a significant selection of original private documentation donated by a number of women for the purpose of the research. To date, Xiana Gómez-Díaz has collected over 60 private diaries written during their teenage years by women who are today aged between 22 and 55. The research is still ongoing.
Two fundamental themes run through the entire exhibition: secrecy and self-representation. Secrecy is an important concept as these cultural works, which provide an outlet for a private impulse, are produced behind closed doors: they are extremely unusual creations as they are not intended for an audience but instead employ secrecy to avoid being revealed or read by anyone. Commercially produced diaries aimed at girls are usually sold with a lock and key, and the girls that write in them – as this exhibition highlights – invent codes, hieroglyphs and encoded and encryption systems to conceal their thoughts. Both aspects expose a particular type of learning acquired from a tender age on how to manage shame and the added value of secrecy.
In addition, the exhibition looks at adolescence as a period of the self-construction of identity in progress. During this stage of our lives, a growing but undefined individuality struggles and strives to find a way through a maze of projected ideas and images: those foisted on us by our family, those conveyed by the media and those we come up with ourselves. Drawings, questions, games and self-portraits on the past, the present and what ought to be are experiments that serve as a means to find ourselves in this contentious stage of life. Drawings are today being gradually supplanted by selfies and other practices directly related to the internet and the digital environment. The exhibition does not ignore these contemporary languages of self-representation in privacy despite the fact that they are intended to be shown, unlike the more traditional practices that have thus far been pursued under a pragmatic veil of secrecy.
Culturas de dormitorio: Narraciones de adolescencia femenina is imbued with startling sincerity and includes works produced without protocol, permeated by utter naturalism and honesty and created in a context of our lives that is as tragic as it is high-spirited. Girls’ accounts, with their codes, projections and conditioning factors are telling, divulging the system and the values it instils in the individual, but they also invite us to reflect more generally on the stages that we all go through in life.
In July 1980 Fernando Ruiz Vergara’s film Rocío premiered in the Bellas Artes cinema of San Sebastian. This documentary recorded the famous Rocío religious pilgrimage from an anthropological standpoint from which, in turn, emerged the sociopolitical backdrop of a country undergoing historical transformation. Critics and audiences alike immediately recognised the quality and artistic value of the film, which very soon began to receive acclaim and prizes. First, it was awarded the prize for the best feature film at the First Seville Film Festival, after which, together with Fernando Trueba’s Ópera prima, it was selected by the Ministry of Culture to represent Spain at the Venice International Film Festival. However, after these initial reactions, a series of incidents brought to light covert action by certain elements among the powers-that-be inherited from the dictatorship in a Spain which appeared to be irresolute about going through with its various kinds of transition. The Ministry of Culture’s announcement went no further than that. It stopped at a headline. On 23 February 1981 (yes, the selfsame day of the attempted coup d’état) the family of José María Reales Carrasco filed a criminal complaint alleging serious slander against, and contempt for the Catholic religion. The judge finally ordered the seizure of all copies of Rocío which is still, to all intents and purposes, an unhappy example of a film that was censored in a democratic regime.
The symptomatic aftermath of this story accentuates still more the unbroken silence, which must still be sustained, of the so-called Spanish democracy in its attempt to muzzle a longing for justice which clamours to be heard in terms of historic memory. If the oblivion imposed by the ruling establishment in the waning years of the Franco regime is expressed in the court ruling arguing that, “the experience of the Spanish Civil War is so tremendous that it precludes thinking about the events that occurred therein as being part of history”, the most obtuse aspect of the matter is that this pronouncement is still enshrined in the law, even today, because the ruling, which is still legally valid, ended up being ratified by the Supreme Court. Hence, the legal argument holds that, in order for history to exist, oblivion must precede it. This is the logic which Federico García Trujillo has always confronted and which he has meticulously dissected in Frames Rocío.
Oblivion is a second death. The interesting, truly paradoxical and hair-raising part of this episode is that the censorship was applied to material that was previously censored by none other than the director and his postproduction team and it appears as such, surprisingly and with no attempt at concealment, in the original version of the documentary. There is a moment when the film focuses on the question of how a symbolic trade-off occurs, whereby the temporary tumult of the frenzied crowd expressing its fervour for the Virgin is permitted in exchange for tacit obedience, throughout the rest of the year, to the hierarchies and structures of social exploitation which have existed in the region for centuries. The tension is evident, especially when Pedro Gómez Clavijo, a longstanding resident of Almonte – where the Rocío pilgrimage is held – gives details of certain crimes committed by the fascists during the Civil War and identifies José María Reales Carrasco, a well-known landowner and founder of the Royal Brotherhood of Our Lady of El Rocío of Jerez de la Frontera, as a perpetrator. When his name is uttered, the director cuts the sound and shows on the screen a photograph of Reales Carrasco with a black strip across his face, thus protecting his identity. Nevertheless, everyone knows who the killers were. These things are never forgotten.
Yes, oblivion is a second death and, when it is imposed by force, we should see it as a kind of murder too. On coming across this corpus delicti, Federico García Trujillo hastens to revive it. He knows that bringing these memories back to life is always a Frankensteinian process, one that is implicit in the cinematographic structure which, in fact, entails stitching together bits and pieces so that we are once again presented with things as if they were alive, over and over again, with the pure doggedness of what is never forgotten. For García Trujillo, the resuscitation of these two minutes of censored material entails a first-rate manual task, not only as an attempt to elude the still-valid court ruling which prohibits presenting censored material in public, but also as a strategy of resistance to the display and banality deriving from easy access to consumption. There are matters of memory that cannot be turned into simple, vulgar hard currency in this political horse-trading where the offer is, “if you forget you can have democracy”.
Federico García Trujillo (La Laguna, Tenerife, 1988) has attracted the attention of the Barcelona art milieu with work offering new meaning and context by taking present-day media content – especially that produced by historical circumstances and struggling to be represented in the present – and transferring it to a handcrafted format, usually painting and drawing. He has a Fine Arts degree from the University of Barcelona and he also studied for a year at the Manchester Metropolitan University. His La pintura como lenguaje documental was exhibited at the Miscelanea Gallery in Barcelona and was also selected for the Young European Creation international biennale of contemporary art, an exhibition which has been shown in several European countries. He has taken part in numerous collective exhibitions, notable amongst which are Aparteu les cadires (Can Felipa Arts Visuals, Barcelona), Escenaris de realitat (re)ficcionada (Fundación Arranz-Bravo, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat), Memorias de contrabando (Centro de Arte La Recova, Santa Cruz, Tenerife) and Artificiala (Cyan Gallery, Barcelona).
Salón de lo intocable is a project that recreates an exhibition space from the time of the Avant-garde: a reconsideration after the fact in which the display deconstructs and reformulates some of the significant works of modernity by means of practices deriving from do-it-yourself and the objet trouvé. Germán Portal thus offers a personal rereading of some of the key artworks of the 20th century, blurring their aura and reinterpreting in a critical and parodic manner the dramatic nature of their formalisations.
75 º is a pictorial project that explores the process and time-related nature of painting through a singular, performative gesture, which consists of showing a series of painted works only while they are still wet, thereby adapting the exhibition dynamic to the strict duration of this process. Part painting, part sculpture and part performance, 75 º gives rise to a vast installation defined by colour, angle and time.
I came from there is a visual and sound installation that posits another type of answer to the most common question you are asked when you arrive somewhere new: “Where are you from?” As a Palestinian refugee, Firas Shehadeh explores biographical and political issues in his work, which deals with questions such as origin, identity and alienation. Taking as his starting point the poem of the same title by the Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus, Shehadeh attempts to answer the question in a different way: “I come from whence I have been brought by an entire political, social and economic history.”
Realismo stems from research into the history of engineering in Spain and focuses on the central themes of the format of exhibitions and the language of sculpture. Midway between an architectural intervention in a public square and a builder’s merchants, the work consists of various structures and volumes distributed about the room, presenting an urban environment determined by the criteria of weight, balance and force.
- Guided visits to the exhibition with the artist David Bestué
Wednesday, June 17, at 6.30pm
- Guided visits to the exhibition with the artist David Bestué and the architect Robert Brufau
Wednesday, July 1, at 6.30pm
- Exhibition's ending with performance by Aimar Pérez Galí
Sunday, July 5, at 12am
Free activities without booking
After years of accumulating, compiling and personalising phrases, quotations and the ideas of others jotted down on bits of paper, on 23 October 2003 Manel Clot became aware of the archive that this simple, private act had given rise to over time: a timeless ‘museum of phrases’ without hierarchy or end wherein are contained, in a chaotic and expansive manner, many of his emotional and experiential interests related to contemporary art; a way of thinking and feeling artistic practice closely linked with a way of thinking and feeling reality; in short, a working methodology based on affective connections and collaborative structures.
RéserVoir generates two complementary levels of intensity. Firstly, and as a kind of curatorial thesis, it reclaims Clot’s collection of phrases; and secondly, the archive is the origin of a group exhibition featuring an entire series of artists connected with him professionally and emotionally: artists who, over the course of their careers, have had specific experiences with Clot, as a result of which they share a particular sensibility and approach to the artistic deed; artists who, from various points of view, also share the processual method of the archive and its distribution possibilities in ways other than the exhibition format.
Consequently, RéserVoir shows recent works and new pieces by a number of artists followed and curated by Clot in the 1990s who played a prominent part in the shaping of a particular Catalan art scene. These artists have made a name for themselves internationally and are now engaging in a dialogue with emerging artists also linked to the particular narrative of Clot’s thinking.
As a result, the recent past and present co-exist in RéserVoir through the exhibition projects, which are notable for their many presentation formats and layers of meaning. The new video pieces by Carles Congost (The Artist Behind The Aura , in which Congost explores his position as an artist in a parodic manner) and Javier Peñafiel (Auditoría de proximidad , an animated film in which drawing and text return to some of the concerns shared by the artist and the curator) enter into a dialogue with Joan Morey’s new updating of El Gir. Guió tancat per a performance col·lectiva (2014), a research project centred on language and translation exercises deriving from the artistic message, and with Luz Broto’s proposal in Right Cube_04. Dar paso a lo desconocido (2011), a performative piece in which the artist makes natural light enter the constantly dark space of La Capella. In the realm of photography, Paco and Manolo’s series Preludio (2014), which deals with the illusory transience of experience, converses with Ester Partegàs’s images of rubbish bags in What You Are, The World Is (2007). In addition, Francesc Ruiz presents a new version of The Yaois (2011), a large installation of drawings and images of homoerotic portrayals which proposes, in keeping with the artist’s usual practice, a specific approach to the notion of sexual identity. This exercise in individual and collective activism is related to Un afán incómodo (2011), by Raimond Chaves and Gilda Mantilla, a documentary video stemming from their travels around the Amazon jungle, in which the artists explore the role of images in the shaping of the identity of a territory.
Lastly, RéserVoir features a second skin, a series of display cases in which each artist resurrects earlier projects especially defined by the need to try out complementary or alternative channels of presentation to the exhibition room: publications, vinyl wall texts and images, leaflets and other systems of graphic documentation.
Triple mortal (Somersault) is an exhibition project that consists of a selection of works produced by students at three educational centres, the Escola Massana, the Escola Llotja and the Faculty of Fine Arts. The exhibition features 21 pieces and provides an opportunity to view the work of the students in each centre in various media and techniques of expression. This wide-ranging selection includes works from a number of disciplines, including sculpture, painting, design, jewellery, illustration and the crafts.
Entitled “Dwelling, Feeling, Thinking”, the show aims to generate a dialogue between the various works based on these three verbs, with a particular emphasis on the first. Dwelling in a place raises many more questions than the simple fact of physically occupying the space. When we dwell, we establish relations with the context, we feel and we think about it. Consequently, when we speak of dwelling, we are also referring to living and co-existing in a space, to caring for and transforming the environment, as well as simply passing through a place.
This way of understanding and shaping the environment plays an important role in artistic practices and design. When we think about a space, we forge new relationships and we come up with ideas that have an impact on our lives. To imagine a place is also to dwell in it through our thoughts and hence the way we think also defines the way we live.
Feeling a place or space implies, once again, conscious dwelling, the basis whereby artistic creation acquires a new meaning. Works of art and design explore the feelings we experience when we pass through a place or co-exist in it. This exhibition, then, aims to show various works that bring into play thoughts and sensations associated with the fact of dwelling.